Direct search for Dark Matter with the DarkSide experiment

Understanding the “Dark Matter” that constitutes about 1/4 of our Universe is one of the most important challenges in modern cosmology. No direct evidence of its constituents exists yet, although its existence is well established by cosmological data. Several candidates of dark matter are proposed, the most studied ones being large mass particles that interact only by weak interaction: WIMPS (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles).

The DarkSide collaboration has embarked on a program to develop and operate two-phase argon Time Projection Chambers (TPC’s) for WIMP detection with some important new features to make the experiment virtually background-free. The DarkSide-50 experiment at the LNGS in Italy, with a fiducial target mass of 50 kg, is now in the Dark Matter search campaign. After publishing the first results, it will take data for two more years.

The APC Laboratory team has a key role in the experiment, with the coordination of the MonteCarlo simulation and other important tasks.

The thesis will be focused on the analysis of the new data, as well as on the development of the MonteCarlo simulation for the experiment. The simulation code will be used to estimate the performance of the next-generation experiment, with a fiducial mass of 20 tons.

In parallel, the construction of a small-scale test chamber will be carried out at APC, for dedicated studies on the liquid argon scintillation response and of light readout devices and associated electronics. The test chamber will be exposed to a neutron beam for precision measurements of the response and for studies on directional sensitivity.

Contact: Davide Franco  (



Davide Franco